Why am I not sleeping?

bed-945881_640No matter what you do, what steps you’ve taken to improve your health and your vitality, you find yourself at night not being able to sleep. We all hear it: Rest is important for our health, and if you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve thought “But if I’m doing everything I can to be healthy, why am I not sleeping?”

It turns out that there’s this little hormone that is important for sleep called melatonin. Melatonin levels are supposed to go up at night to allow us to sleep. A pretty large amount of melatonin is produced in the gut, in fact, 75% of all melatonin in our body is produced there, while only 25% is produced in the pineal gland. I had been dealing with pretty bad digestion for a long, long time, seventeen years in fact. I had done EVERYTHING I could think of to try to improve my overall health, my digestion and my sleep: I stopped eating processed foods. I started eating on a consistent basis, I removed a ton of irritants (like dairy which I found made my digestion worse), I also removed sugars from my diet. I started exercising regularly, I even dimmed the lights, shut off the TV, took my phone out of my bedroom, sat quietly for about 15 minutes, and yet, here I was, not being able to sleep and with digestive issues everyday.

Thanks to my training as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner and with the help of my mentor,  I was able to run some lab tests on myself to try to figure out what was going on, and there was the answer: my melatonin was pretty low! When I finally ran more lab tests in search for clues, I found out what had been causing it: I had dysbiosis (which means an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the gut) and even a pesky protozoa which who knows how long I’ve had. The interesting thing about all of this is that I had been living so long with digestive issues that I had learned to accept them as “normal”. When I went to my doctor years ago, I was diagnosed with “irritable bowel syndrome”, but no clear indication on how to take care of it, or what the cause of this condition was… not until now.

I was able to add a few more things to the already existing lifestyle: I needed stress-reduction (finding out the hidden, internal stressors was one of the most important things to do), I added supplements and I was FINALLY able to get some rest! It wasn’t overnight, but my sleep improved within a couple of weeks and since starting this protocol, my digestion has gotten much better.

If you felt like I used to feel where I didn’t know what was going on with my body and you’ve tried everything, then we need to talk. Don’t let another day go by where you feel like you are not in control of your health.